• Paris to the Pyrenees book on my library shelf with Paris, Paris Journey to the City of Lights in the background by David Downie
    Book Reviews,  Books & Guides & Writing,  History

    Book Review: Paris to the Pyrenées, A Skeptic Pilgrim Walks the Way of Saint James

    David Downie’s latest entertaining memoir, “Paris to the Pyrenées, a skeptic pilgrim walks the way of Saint James” is a series of vignettes. The book is multipurpose whose words constantly upturned my lips into a smile or a smirk. They are the stories of his walk across France. It is also a guidebook along a segment of a trail steeped in history. It is a memoir of a skeptic pilgrim’s path to self-help along the Route of Saint James. When your body is falling apart, why not have a personal quest to possess France by walking across it! ….

  • Yves Saint Laurent Sketch of theatre costumes for Genevieve Page in the show "L'Aigle à deux têtes" from 1978
    History,  Seeing Paris

    Yves Saint Laurent Archives On The Internet

    You might think that ball gowns are a thing of the past. In the second half of the 20th century, Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent traveled with the "jet-set", artists, fashionistas and aristocracy in a world alive now in memories and imaginations. In the 1950s and 1960s, this crowd wore the designs of Yves Saint Laurent to château balls. Today, the memories and imaginations are kept digitally alive.

  • Journees du Patrimoine ceiling interior of the bank Societe Generale Boulevard Haussmann
    Events and Trade Shows,  History

    History of Journées Européennes du Patrimoine

    Jack Lang decided in 1984 to open the doors of French public buildings to the public. 50 countries in Europe now do the same, annually the third week in September. After that first Journée Portes ouvertes dans les monuments historiques (Historical Monuments Open House) on the third Sunday in September. The Sunday visits became so successful, that in 1992 the event became a day-two French affair taking place the third weekend in September. The name changed to Journées du Patrimoine. Europe adopted the name Journées européennes du patrimoine in 2000. For the French, this is an opportunity to visit their national monuments that are closed to the public or have…

  • Musée d'art et histoire du Judaïsme-Capa, Taro & Chim, Paris La Valise Mexicaine, The Mexican Suitcase
    History,  Museum exhibitions,  Photography-Art

    Treasures in a Mexican Suitcase-Capa, Taro, Chim

    An acquaintance mentioned to me the name of an exhibit she had seen and liked: “La Valise mexicaine, Capa, Taro, Chim-Les négatifs retrouvés de la guerre civile espagnole” . The mysterious name drew me to the exhibit housed in the Paris Jewish museum. “The Mexican Suitcase, rediscovered spanish Civil War negatives” is on display until June 30, 2013 at the Musée d’art et d’histoire du Judaïsme. During the course of the exhibit, I found out that four photojournalists and friends could support themselves as photographers in Paris, a female was a pioneering war photographer, and that when you have a chance to flee a dangerous situation, you leave valuable things behind. Hard-core…

  • Allegory of Justice poster for Lucas Cranach exhibit Musee du Luxembourg
    History,  Museum exhibitions

    When Renaissance goes Modern in Paris

    The introduction to the television series Desperate Housewives is recognizable by its branding image: Adam and Eve under a tree. Lucas Cranach, the Elder, painted it.  You may have heard of the Louvre’s fund raiser to purchase “Les Trois Grâces” for four million euros. They succeeded. The artist? Lucas Cranach, the Elder. Although his is not a household name you have just been introduced to a modern style painter of the Renaissance. The Musée du Luxembourg, after a French Senate shutdown in 2010, inaugurated its reopening on February 9, 2011 with an exhibit of a major figure in the German Renaissance, Lucas Cranach (1472-1553). His early woodcut drawings are reminiscent…